germ·​o·​phobe | \ ˈjər-mə-ˌfōb How to pronounce germophobe (audio) \
variants: or germaphobe
plural germophobes or germaphobes

Definition of germophobe

: a person who has an abnormal fear of germs or contamination : one affected with germophobia No wonder germophobes—including me—are on high alert, viewing every surface as a potentially lethal petri dish.— Laura Landro The stone's actual powers are debatable, but one thing's for sure—the Blarney Stone is a germaphobe's nightmare.— Catherine Prince

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from germophobe

germophobic \ ˌjər-​mə-​ˈfō-​bik How to pronounce germophobic (audio) \ or germaphobic adjective
In a sometimes germophobic society, we spend countless hours and dollars disinfecting surfaces, washing our hands, and taking antibiotics to keep unwelcome bacteria, fungi, and viruses at bay. — Jan Suszkiw

Examples of germophobe in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Thrill seekers or germophobes, there is a water park for everyone in Central Indiana. Dwight Adams, Indianapolis Star, "Here's what you need to know to prevent drownings," 13 June 2018 Anchor Michael Che dismissed Trump’s claim of being a germophobe by citing the president’s relations with hookers. Hal Boedeker,, "'SNL': Robert De Niro channels Robert Mueller," 15 Apr. 2018 Thompson as Alex’s best friend Marty exudes affability, Washington’s Gloria is bold and beautiful and Bertaux makes a lanky, likeable germophobe. Patti Restivo, Howard County Times, "You've got to 'move it, move it' to Red Branch," 22 Dec. 2017 Say hello to Sheldon Cooper 9.0 of CBS spinoff Young Sheldon, The Big Bang Theory origin story that tracks genius Sheldon as a young germophobe, also 9, who's entering high school in east Texas in 1989. Bill Keveney, USA TODAY, "'Young Sheldon' kids around with boy version of 'Big Bang Theory' genius," 19 Sep. 2017 The film is set in the mid-eighties, and earlier scenes in the movie had invoked AIDS and the fear of contagion (the germophobe kid had heard of a lady who got AIDS from just touching a pole). Josephine Livingstone, New Republic, "Stephen King’s It is a Call for Solidarity Among the Traumatized," 12 Sep. 2017 Encased in a squeeze tube printed with its signature Neutraface 2.0 font, its old-timey-apothecary feel aesthetically conceals the neuroticism of a germophobe with good design. Kathleen Hou, The Cut, "The Fanciest Hand Sanitizer in the World," 23 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'germophobe.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of germophobe

1894, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about germophobe

Time Traveler for germophobe

Time Traveler

The first known use of germophobe was in 1894

See more words from the same year

Statistics for germophobe

Cite this Entry

“Germophobe.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Feb. 2020.

Comments on germophobe

What made you want to look up germophobe? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!